Hearlings and Prado Dominate Italian MXGP Qualifying


Jeffery Herlings extended his lead up until the finish where he crossed the line 22 seconds ahead of team-mate Antonio Cairoli. Photo: Youthstream
Qualifying races for the MXGP of Trentino, North of Italy, were dominated by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders of Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado.

Both rocketed to strong starts in front of the Dolomite Mountains and thousand of Italian motocross fans. With perfect weather expected against a stunning backdrop tomorrow while be even more entertaining.

The MXGP Qualifying Race started with the early 2018 MXGP season Red Bull KTM Factory Racing superstars of Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings at the front. Herlings with a rare good start took full advantage passing Cairoli in the third turn.

Meanwhile Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser was caught in a first turn crash and had to fight his way back from dead last all the way up to 17th.

Behind Herlings and Cairoli was Clement Desalle, Gautier Paulin, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Glenn Coldenhoff.
Antonio Cairoli finished second fastest in MXGP to put him in a good spot in front of his home crowd. Photo: Youthstream
Maxime Desprey had a great qualifying performance riding in 7th the first 4 laps before being passed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre.

Back at the front Herlings extended his lead up until the finish where he crossed the line 22 seconds ahead of Cairoli. Apart from the pass of Febvre on Desprey the top eleven riders stayed in the same position all of the 13 laps.

"So far everything is positve, it was a good Saturday, which doesn‰Ûªt always mean a good Sunday but it definitely feels good to start off the weekend in this way," Herlings said.

Antonio Cairoli was happy with a good result at his home GP, ‰ÛÏIt is always nice to be here in Italy and race in front of the home fans and media," Cairoli said. "Today went good and I know that it is only Saturday so if we managed to have a good start also tomorrow we will fight for the win, that is always the goal. I really like the track and atmosphere here so we will do our best to be on top and have a good weekend overall.‰Û
Frenchman Clement Desalle continued his good early season form the third place in MXGP qualifying. Photo: Youthstream
After a rough start to the race HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser was happy with his end result.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm feeling good actually but today didn‰Ûªt go the best, in the qualification race I crashed in the first corner so I started dead last and came back to 17th but it isn‰Ûªt that bad because on this track you can start from everywhere quite good," Gajser said. "Hopefully tomorrow I can get good starts, ride smarter, and be consistent because that is the most important.‰Û
Spaniard Jorge Prado dominated the MX2 class. Photo: Ray Archer
The first few laps of the race Hitachi KTM UK‰Ûªs Conrad Mewse maintained third position ahead of Henry Jacobi and Thomas Covington.

On lap 4 Covington took over 4th by passing Jacobi along with Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team‰Ûªs Ben Watson. 3 laps after Covington‰Ûªs and Watson‰Ûªs passes on Jacobi it was Mewse who came under pressure from the American and fellow Brit. Covington took 3rd from Mewse quickly but for Watson the resistance was stronger.

After searching for a way past Mewse for three laps Watson made a pass stick and at the finish it was Prado, Olsen, Covington, Watson, and Mewse taking the first five gate picks for tomorrow‰Ûªs pair of races.

American Darian Sanayei did not start the qualifying race while Honda 114 Motorsport‰Ûªs Hunter Lawrence started but only completed 5 laps. Both riders official status for Sunday is unknown. Lawrence's compatriot Jed Beaton finished 14th.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jorge Prado in the press conference stated: ‰ÛÏI got my first GP win here so I have really good memories and today I felt great, I had good start and took the win so I‰Ûªm really happy with the today.‰Û

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